EU Science Hub

JRC audits the first ever Environment and Gender Index

Nov 19 2013

The Environment and Gender Index (EGI) was launched by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) today during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC COP19) in Warsaw. The EGI attempts to monitor progress toward gender equality in the context of global environmental governance and provides information on how 72 nations (including 11 EU members) are translating gender and environment mandates into national policy and planning.

The JRC has worked iteratively with the EGI developing team in order to arrive at an index that meets international quality standards. The JRC simulations and validation tests ensuring the transparency and reliability showed that the EGI summarises different aspects of gender equality within the context of global environmental governance in a more efficient and parsimonious manner than what is possible with a collection of relevant indicators taken separately. The EGI country ranks are fairly robust to methodological assumptions related to the estimation of missing data and to small variations in the weights assigned to the six categories: livelihood, gendered rights and participation, governance, gendered education and assets, ecosystem and country reported activities. Constructive criticism is still welcome for the EGI, which could be refined within two of its six categories ‒ Ecosystem and Country reported activities. This refinement would be instrumental in bringing the EGI to its full potential.

The EGI has been nominated for the Katerva Awards, which are perceived as the “Nobel Prize” for sustainability initiatives, and aim to identify the most promising innovations on the planet in 10 categories. The nomination is based on the rigorous adjudication process with respect to validation, scalability, policy implications and overall impact of each innovation carried out by over 400 experts in specific subject areas.

Performance of the EU members in the EGI

The three most committed nations to tackling women’s advancement in their environmental efforts are Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway (72 nations included). Six EU members are in the top ten of the EGI: the Netherlands (2), Sweden (4), France (5), Finland (6), Spain (8), and Denmark (9). Five more EU members are well positioned in the EGI occupying positions from the 11th to the 22nd place ‒ Poland (11), Portugal (12), Greece (14), Italy (15) and Romania (22). Remaining EU members were not included due to insufficient data coverage.